Forest Management Plan proves controversial
THE state government's newly released Forest Management Plan (FMP) has proved controversial among conservation and green groups.
Conservation Council WA (CCWA) president Piers Verstegen said the government's next forest management plan will be a death sentence to endangered animals.
However, the Forest Products Commission (FPC) said the concerns were premature.
A scoping document for the FMP argues 10,000 hectares of native timber should be available for logging each year from 2014.
Mr Verstegen said this was a 20 per cent increase.
He said in recent years 8000 hectares had been logged and Warrup's numbats and other endangered species would not survive the increase.
"We've shown the logging industry is exempt from hard-won legislation designed to protect our threatened animals," Mr Verstegen said.
"We've exposed hundreds of serious breaches of environmental guidelines by unregulated and unaccountable logging contractors and government agencies have admitted even the inadequate controls that are in place are not legally binding," he said.
"We've demonstrated the logging industry cannot make a profit because global markets are no longer accepting unsustainable timber products.
"We have even revealed the taxpayer subsidised logging industry could be destroying hundreds of millions of dollars in carbon credits and preventing the creation of sustainable jobs for the South West.
"Despite all the arguments, the state government has now released a scoping document that outlines plans for increased logging in South West forests."
He said conservationist groups had less than two weeks to put their case to the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA).
The EPA is now required to assess the plan.
An FPC spokeswoman said the scoping document indicated the scale of timber harvesting activity was consistent with the current FMP.
"The chairman of the Conservation Commission has indicated the concerns of the Conservation Council are premature," the spokeswoman said.